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Kentucky Association of Counties


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2024 Regular Session final countdown

KACo Advocacy Staff
Bills to watch in the remaining days of legislative activity

Lawmakers were at the Capitol late into the evening prior to the start of the veto recess period that began March 29. Priority bills were sent to Gov. Andy Beshear’s desk prior to this date in order to preserve the legislature’s veto override authority.

Below is a list of bills affecting counties and their status in the legislative process.


The legislature delivered HB 6 (executive branch budget), HB 1 (one-time funding bill), HB 265 (Transportation Cabinet budget), and HB 264 (judicial branch budget) to the governor on March 28. These bills will fund operations through the FY2025-FY2026 biennium. Because these bills are appropriation bills, the governor can line-item veto provisions in the bills. For a full analysis of the budget proposals, click here.


Annexation compromise - HB 596 (Rep. Jonathan Dixon)

Delivered to the Governor

A priority measure for counties, the compromise bill addresses decades-old state laws regarding city annexation and the occupational tax revenue lost by some counties with a population of 30,000 or more. The legislation is the result of the Task Force on Local Government Annexation, which met during the 2023 interim legislative session. For details of the bill, click here.


Prohibition on jail construction/renovation - HB 12 (Rep. David Meade)

Passed House, has not received committee hearing in Senate

Prohibits building, remodeling or renovation of a county jail unless the General Assembly approves. Exceptions include court orders requiring construction, compliance with state or federal law/regulations, or replacing/rebuilding a jail after a catastrophic event.

Contracts between county jails and Department of Corrections – SB 283 (Sen. Jimmy Higdon)

Passed Senate and House State Government Committee, was recommitted to House A&R Committee

Requires the Department of Corrections to contract with the fiscal court or regional correctional authority for housing and care of state prisoners. Provides a protection for closed jail counties by placing a restriction on the per diem rate that counties can charge when contracting with another county. This rate would be the lesser of a per diem rate that does not exceed an increase of 10% from the prior year or the actual cost of incarceration and care of an inmate within the facility.

Cities to pay for jail costs - HB 687 (Rep. Ryan Dotson)

Has not received any action in House

Requires cities to enter into an interlocal agreement with the county to subsidize the cost of jails for those arrested in the boundaries of a city. 

The Safer Kentucky Act - HB 5 (Rep. Jared Bauman)

Delivered to the Governor

Creates harsher penalties for violent crimes and creates new consequences for homeless encampments, including making unlawful camping a Class B misdemeanor after the second offense. Class B misdemeanors can carry a sentence of up to 90 days in county jails.


County Priority Projects list - HJR 92 (Rep. Jason Petrie)

Delivered to the Governor

Provides a one-year listing of projects to be funded through the County Priority Projects Program in FY2025. The Transportation Cabinet budget provides $20 million a year for the program, which will fund qualified discretionary projects ranked an 8, 9 or 10. Click on the bill link to search through county projects for FY2025.

Biennial Highway Construction Plan - HB 266 (Rep. Jason Petrie)

Delivered to Governor

Provides a listing of state highway construction projects to be funded for the first two years of the Six-Year Road Plan (FY2025 and FY2026). HB 1 provided an additional $250 million in FY2025 and $200 million in FY2026 to the biennial highway construction plan from the Budget Reserve Trust Fund for select projects identified for industrial development, economic and quality improvement or located in high-growth counties.

Last four years of Six-Year Road Plan - HJR 91 (Rep. Jason Petrie)

Delivered to the Governor

Provides a listing of projects for the last four years of the Six-Year Road Plan (FY2027 – FY2030).


Kentucky Product Development Initiative (KPDI) - HB 13 (Rep. Adam Bowling)

Passed House and Senate, in conference committee to work out differences between chambers

Program supports development projects through the Cabinet for Economic Development, with technical assistance and evaluation services from the Kentucky Association for Economic Development. The bill improves the program by addressing local match requirements to help ensure that smaller counties with constrained budgets are able to participate in the program. The KPDI program was funded in HB 1 - $35 million in each year of the biennium.

Continuation of 2023’s G.R.A.N.T. matching grant program HB 723 (Rep. Richard Heath)

Delivered to the Governor

Provides matching grant funds to enable local governments and non-profits to draw down from federal grants identified or administered by the Delta Regional Authority, the US Department of Housing and Urban Development, or the federal agencies that comprise the Interagency Working Group on Coal and Power Plant Communities and Economic Revitalization, which was established by presidential executive order in 2021. The bill moves the program from the Department for Local Government to the Cabinet for Economic Development. The G.R.A.N.T. program was funded in HB 1 - $200 million in FY2024.

Public Water and Wastewater systems - HB 563 (Rep. Josh Bray)

Delivered to the Governor

Helps struggling water and wastewater systems in rural areas that do not qualify for normal funding by establishing two revolving loan funds to be administered by the Kentucky Infrastructure Authority. The first will address maintenance and upgrades and can be awarded in the form of grants, loans, no-interest loans or forgivable loans, to be determined by the General Assembly. The second is an emergency fund to restore service after disasters and can be for capital and non-capital expenses after an emergency has been declared, either local or statewide. The Water or Wastewater Assistance for Troubled or Economically Restrained Systems (WWATERS) program was funded in HB 1 - $75 million in each year of the biennium.

Off-highway vehicle pilot program - SB 125 (Sen. Phillip Wheeler)

Signed into law by the Governor

Extends a two-year pilot program initiated in 2022 out to 2027. In its effort to increase tourism, this continuation allows for the use of certain segments of certain state roads by local governments to develop ATV/OHV tourism in the state. The vehicles must follow regulations set by both the Transportation Cabinet and local governments.

Utility pole attachments backlog - SJR 175 (Sen. Damon Thayer)

Delivered to the Governor

Directs the Public Service Commission to produce emergency regulations on utility pole attachments for broadband service providers that will address the backlog of requests and set parameters for preventing future delays. The PSC will create a docket for public comment and requests from affected parties.


"Check the Tech" ballot recount - HB 53 (Rep. John Hodgson)

Delivered to the Governor

Replaces the current risk limiting audit process for post-election voting system checks with a post-election "Check the Tech" audit. The Secretary of State randomly selects one ballot scanner and one race on that scanner for audit performed by the county board of elections or its designee. The post-election audit shall be recorded and may be streamed. The recording must be stored for 60 days. Reimburses each county clerk up to $5,000 for actual expenses incurred in this post-election audit. 


Decreasing agriculture district acreage- HB 418 (Rep. Sarge Pollock)

Delivered to the Governor

Decreases minimum acreage to qualify as an agricultural district from 250 acres to 50 acres. Land in an agricultural district cannot be annexed and the property assessment as agricultural value cannot be changed. A landowner may take his/her land out of an agricultural district at any time.


Transportation from recovery residential treatment facilities - SB 71 (Sen. Philip Wheeler)

Delivered to the Governor

Requires the facility to either obtain an agreement from family, a guardian or emergency contact to personally transport the resident, or make transportation services available, to their home, a public transportation location or a ride-sharing service for individuals who wish to voluntarily leave a chemical dependency treatment program. The bill puts in place safety provisions for those required by court order to attend, such as requiring notifications for family, court officials, the county attorney, and local law enforcement that a court-ordered resident has left the facility prior to completing conditions of the court order or without court approval.


Motor vehicle inspections - HB 833 (Rep. David Meade)

Delivered to the Governor

Authorizes sheriffs to designate certified vehicle inspectors and may appoint up to two employees of a motor vehicle dealer to serve as onsite inspectors. Increases fee from current $5 to $15 or $30 depending on the type of motor vehicle dealer or if an individual. Authorizes the Transportation Cabinet to create an electronic inspection form.

Access to accident reports to decrease stolen vehicle loss - SB 162 (Sen. Robby Mills)

Signed into law by the Governor

Allows local law enforcement the same investigative tools that the State Police have regarding motor vehicle issues by granting access to vehicle accident reports. Allows local law enforcement the option of contracting with third parties to provide the reports to other entities that are eligible to receive them.

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